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Late trains often make up time en route and may arrive earlier than expected. When trains are late, we suggest you arrive at your departure station prior to the estimated arrival or departure time.

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Empire Builder

Chicago - St. Paul/Minneapolis - Spokane - Portland/Seattle
Empire Builder Route Map
Experience the Rugged Splendor of the American West

Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers.

From Chicago, you'll have magnificent views of the Mississippi and see the glowing night skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Awake the next morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle. Skirting the Missouri, you'll cross into the Big Sky country in Montana, passing by a travelers favorite, Glacier National Park. From Spokane, you can continue on to Seattle or head down the Columbia River Gorge toward Portland for spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Beacon Rock.

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation On Board

Trails & Rails Logo

An innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, the Trails & Rails program provides Amtrak passengers with educational opportunities to foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage and renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.

During the spring and summer months, National Park Service guides are onboard the Empire Builder between Seattle and Shelby, MT from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. The other programs presented on different days of the week include:

  • between Havre, MT and Minot - the Nez Peirce National Historic Park – Bear Paw National Battlefield,
  • between Williston, ND and Shelby, MT or Malta, MT - Ft. Union Trading Post National Historic Site,
  • between Stanton, ND and Shelby or Malta, MT - Knife River Indian Villages and
  • between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Columbus, WI - the Mississippi River Recreation Area and get ready to appreciate the natural and cultural heritage onboard the train.

Exclusive Travel Offer for Families Planning a College Visit
Purchase by December 17, 2016
Expires on December 30, 2016
Discover All the Windy City Has to Offer and Save Up to $50 Per Couple
Purchase by December 31, 2016
Save on Travel Packages with Amtrak Vacations
Purchase by December 31, 2016
Visit One of the Most Celebrated National Parks in the World for Less with Amtrak Vacations
Purchase by December 31, 2016
Purchase by December 31, 2016
Shop, Save, Earn Points and Be Entered to Win a $500 Macy's Gift Card
Purchase by December 31, 2016
Let the Empire Builder Take You on a Ski Trip with Saver Fares
Purchase by April 21, 2017
Book Early and Save 20% on Many Routes
See Where the Train Can Take You
Savings 101: Students Now Save 15% on Travel Year-Round
Learn More About the Amtrak Student Discount for Students Ages 13 - 25
Travel in Style with eBags - Luggage, Handbags and More
Free Return Shipping. Over 470 Brands.
Amtrak Menus

Downloadable menus are updated regularly, but menu items and prices are subject to change and may be different from what is available onboard.

Schedule (PDF )
  • Effective August 1, 2016
  • Frequency
    Length of Trip
    46 hours
    Dining Car Lounge Checked Baggage Service
    7, 8, 27, 28, 807, 808
    train numbers information
    Train Numbers